Sunday, December 25, 2011

Top Most Read Posts of 2011

It may be a little early but not much. At this point it would be a big surprise if some other post made it into this list. These fifteen posts were far and away the most read of 2011. The first on the list had over 20,000 views. The last on the list was over 4,500 views which was a good 500+ more than the next on the list. Most of these posts had so many views because of links from other places. Somehow they hit a nerve with some people and a lot of extra traffic came towards this blog. The average post was probably read about 400 times over the course of a year. Still not bad but nothing like the traffic the most viewed posts received.

Most of these posts have a lot of comments as well. The comments add a lot of value in my opinion. I hope you’ll take a look at some of them.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Interesting links 11 December 2011

Last week I posted a list of some of the great computer science related blogs I read on a regular basis (Computer Science Education Blog Roll) Week after week these people share ideas and thoughts and tools that really make a difference in the world. This week, as usual, I list some of the best posts from those very special people. But first Andrew Parsons reminds me that Just One More Week To Enter The Rock Paper Azure Fall Sweepstakes! This is an opportunity for programming hotshots to learn a little about writing applications for the cloud and have a go at writing some artificial intelligence code as well.

I really love Ben Chun’s idea of spending the first 5 minutes of class writing a method of the day. Take a look at his blog post Question of the Day and find the link to the first 10 questions he used with his students. For C#, Visual Basic and F# you could probably do something like this fairly easily with Pex 4 Fun and save some grading time.

I also enjoyed this blog post by Johnny Kissko ( @johnnyeducation) about Kinecting the Gaps in Education. Well worth the read.

In other news, the Alice team ( out of Carnegie Mellon University  has a new Alice Facebook page to help build community.

Ed Donahue ( @creepyed) tweeted about A beginners guide to developing for Windows Phone . Download the guide (the link is to a PDF) and get started!

Computer Science in Top Ten Degrees That Pay Back: In Computer Science As more and more students (and their parents) start to take the economic viability of various degrees and majors it is nice to see computer science near the top of the list.

The student focused Microsoft home page at has been completely updated and redone. Well worth checking out and sending students you know to visit.

Did you notice that the new Kinect for Windows SDK Beta 2 is now available for download?

last but far from least, Tony Franklin (@TeachTec) has but the most amazing list of  Tools for Schools at This site lists over 100 free Microsoft Education resources that you can use. Oh and perhaps FREE works for you? Check it out and pass it along to any other teachers you may know.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Why I’m Still Excited about Computer Science

It’s computer science education week and that has me thinking about what I’d like to tell students about computer science. So I decided to record something on the subject.

The short version is that 38 years after the life changing experience that writing my first computer program was I am more excited about computer science than I was then. And that is saying something. This is my first experience trying to do a video cast but since a lot of students don’t read this seemed like a good time and a good topic to try it out. I hope you like it.

Some links that I talk about for reference: